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AN 



ORATION, 



BEFORE THE 



ALUMNI OF RUTGER'S COLLEGE; 



PRONOUNCED IN THE COLLEGE CHAPEL, 



NEW BRUNSWICK, N. J 



B Y 

CORNELIUS C. VANARSDALEN. 



JULY 18, 1837. 



PUBLISHED BY THE ALUMNI. 



HARTFORD. 
PRINTED BY CASE, TIFFANY & BURNHAM. 

MDCCC XXXVII. 



CORRESPONDENCE. 



New Brunswick, July 19th, 1837. 

Bear Sir: 

We take great pleasure in transmitting to you the enclosed extract, and in 
assuring you, in behalf of the members of the Association, of the high gratifica- 
tion your address afforded them. 

R. ADRIAN, Jr. > n riTW 

Wm. l. terhune, \ Com - °f the Alumm ' 

Extract from the Minutes of the Association of the Alumni of Rutger's College. 

July 18th, 1837. 

"Resolved, That the thanks of this Association be presented to the Rev. 
C. C. Vanarsdalen, for the able and eloquent address pronounced by him this 
day, before the Association, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of the 
same for publication." 

" Resolved, That Robert Adrian, Jr. and William L. Terhune, be a committee 
to carry the above resolution into effect." 



Gentlemen : 

I should have given a much earlier reply to your polite request, but my 
intention has been to decline the publication of my address. Owing to the 
extreme lateness of the time at which I was informed of my appointment ; it 
was written in great haste, and when I was also in ill health. As many of my 
friends, however, have desired a copy, I have at length, been induced to send it 
to you with all its impsrfections. If its publication, as it is, can promote, in 
any measure, the sentiments I have endeavored to advance, it is at your service. 
With very high regard, Gentlemen, 

believe me your friend and servant, 

C. C, VANARSDALEN. 

To Robert Adrian, Jr. Esq. ) ~ f4t A1 
and Wm. L. Terhune, Esq 1 J ^m. of the Alumni. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 



https://archive.org/details/christianpatriotOOvana 



ADDRESS. 



GENTLEMEN OF THE ALUMNI! 

At your request I have come to meet you again within 
these sacred walls. I am sensible of the honor you have 
conferred upon me, in appointing me your speaker, and, 
though I may not meet your expectations as an orator, I am 
too faithful to early associations to refuse compliance with 
your wishes as a friend. It is especially as such, that I stand 
before you. Here, every thing reminds us of the scenes of 
the past — here, every thing is calculated to awaken the most 
tender sensibilities of our hearts. We remember the joyous 
companionship of former years. We remember the bright 
and the buoyant days of our early youth. This venerated 
hall — these hills and vallies — these frequented walks, are 
familiar to us. Here many a happy hour has glided smoothly 
away — many a fond hope has been cherished — and many 
warm and lasting friendships have been formed. From 
our distant places of abode, and the toils of our respective 
professions, we have come again to meet each other, and renew 
our assurances of unchanging regard. We have come also 
to testify our continued affection and respect for our venera- 
ble President, for the Instructors of our youth, and, above all, 
our gratitude to our common and best Benefactor, whose 
kind care has been over us, and whose rich mercies have been 
lavished upon our way. 



6 



This day, Gentlemen, also reminds us of many a familiar 
form which we behold not, and shall never again behold on 
earth. Many of our early associates and friends come not to 
participate in these joyous greetings. Some from every class 
have already disappeared from this scene of life — and have 
entered the eternal world. This day, therefore, with all its 
pleasures, brings with it a solemn admonition of the rapid 
flight of our time — a voice comes to us from the graves of our 
buried class-mates and friends, and bids us wisely improve the 
present as it flies. 

In obedience to this admonition, I know not how I can bet- 
ter perform my duty, both as a Christian and an American, 
than by holding up to your contemplation the character and 
appropriate labors of a Christian Patriot. If in the present 
unhappy state of our political affairs, as a nation, I may be so 
fortunate as to present this character in its true beauty and 
importance — to excite your admiration and inspire the noble 
determination in your hearts to seek the same spirit, and pur- 
sue the same life — I shall secure your highest happiness, and 
the approbation of my own conscience. 

By some, however, it may be doubted whether these two 
traits of character can coexist in the same person. Lord 
Shaftsbury is not the only enemy to Christianity who has 
asserted that " there is nothing in the Bible to recommend 
and encourage the love of one's country." But a candid 
examination cannot fail to convince us, that all such assertions 
arise, either from gross ignorance, or intentional falsehood. 
It will be no difficult thing to prove, not only that they can, 
but that they must coexist — that the one necessarily includes 
the other — that the spirit of true Religion is pre-eminently a 
Patriotic spirit, and that there is no genuine Patriotism with- 
out it. 

That it is in perfect harmony with the spirit of religion to 
cherish a special interest in the welfare of our own country ? 
must be seen in a single glance at the Word of God. 

If, for example, you refer to the inspired page, you will find 
that it formed a conspicuous and illustrious trait in the char- 
acter of Moses. For the good of his countrymen he spurned 



7 



the honors of the Egyptian Court; though they were in 
bondage — poor and despised, he united his destiny with theirs, 
choosing rather to share their privation and reproach, and to 
secure to them the privileges and enjoyment of freedom. 
Was it not the same spirit in the youthful David, when " his 
heart stirred within him " at the proud boasting of his coun- 
try's foes — and when single handed he went forth to join in 
deadly conflict with the champion of the Philistine host ? In 
all his subsequent history also, and in the glowing strains of 
his sublime Psalms, may we not discover evidences of ardent 
and unchanging devotion to his country's good ? Not less 
strikingly is the same Patriotic spirit displayed in the sad 
lamentations of the children of Israel, when they were held 
as captives in a strange land. Who that has felt the strength 
of such emotions does not find his heart going forth in generous 
sympathy as he reads the record of their sorrows ? " By the 
rivers of Babylon there we sat down : yea, we wept, when 
we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the wil- 
lows in the midst thereof, for there they that carried us away 
captive required of us a song — saying, ' sing us one of the 
songs of Zion/ How shall we sing the Lord's song in a 
strange land ? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right 
hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee let my 
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth ; if I prefer not Jeru- 
salem above my chief joy." The life of Nehemiah affords 
another instance of the truth of our position. In the inspired 
book which bears his name, we are told that when one came 
to him bearing intelligence of the unhappy state of his native 
country, he " sat down and wept, and mourned many days, 
and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven." From 
that moment he devoted himself to her good ; he left the 
splendors and the luxuries of the Persian palace ; nor did he 
rest, till, through much labor and great dangers, the walls of 
Jerusalem were again built, and the scattered inhabitants 
gathered and fortified against their foes. In Isaiah, and Jere- 
miah, and the other prophets, we see the same peculiar and 
intense regard exhibited for the good of their own country. 
But it has been said that the gospel introduced a different 



8 



spirit into the world in this respect ; that it broke down all 
distinctions and instructed its believers to view all men, and 
all nations with equal interest. That it demands warmer and 
more enlarged benevolence, that it may be viewed as a more 
advanced lesson in Divine instruction, we admit — but that it 
does not authorize and require a special regard to our own 
country, we deny. 

As an evidence of this, a reference to the lives and senti- 
ments of its prominent defenders will show that they were 
Patriots as well as the Patriarchs and the Prophets of more 
ancient days. Examine, for example, the writings of the 
Apostle Paul, and listen to his own declaration : " I say 
the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me 
witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and 
continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that 
myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kins- 
men according to the flesh." It was on the state of his 
countrymen that the mind of the apostle was here fixed — and 
that heart which flowed forth in Christian benevolence 
towards all men, now glows with ten-fold ardor. Their inter- 
ests were continually and intensely weighing upon his mind, 
and he declares himself willing to make any sacrifice, however 
great, if thereby he could effect their deliverence, and secure 
their good. But there is one example of still higher authori- 
ty. It is that of the Son of God — the Divine Teacher. It is 
true that he came to rescue a world from ruin — He was the 
Friend of the whole family of man — but the land of his nativ- 
ity—the home of His early years — the abode of his kindred 
according to the flesh, was still the object of his special love. 
It was here that " he went about doing good." It was for 
her welfare that he labored by day, and poured forth his 
prayers by night, and when, at length, all his efforts proved 
unavailing — when in their political and moral state they had 
become in the last degree degenerate and corrupt, how clearly 
is the Patriotic spirit of the Son of God displayed. As he 
approached the city of Jerusalem, the great metropolis of 
his native country ; as he stood upon the Mount of Olives — 
on the very spot where the army of Titus was afterwards 



9 



encamped ; as, with his eyes fixed upon that proud city, he 
thought of the future triumph of her foes, when "not one 
stone should be left upon another," — his soul was filled with 
sorrow, and " as he beheld the city, he wept." Nor was this 
all ; not even the pangs of death — not even the tortures of the 
cross, could quench in his heart the love of his native land. 
That he still sought to secure to her, first of all, the great 
blessings of his gospel — the political and moral advantages 
which it was calculated to confer, is evident from the fact that 
after his resurrection from the dead, the instruction which he 
gave to his followers was, to " preach the gospel among all 
nations — beginning at Jerusalem" Is it not clearly estab- 
lished, therefore, from these illustrious examples, that on this 
subject the Old and the New Testament Scriptures are in 
perfect harmony, and that while our holy religion teaches us 
benevolence towards all men — it warrants and demands a 
special regard for the good of our own country. 

The truth of this position will further appear from the higher 
duties which attach to the relations of life. Is it not true, for 
example, that the relation which the members of a family 
sustain to each other, imposes upon them special duties ? " If 
any," says the Apostle, " provideth not for his own, and 
especially for those of his own kindred, he hath denied the 
faith, and is worse than an infidel." Is it not, therefore, the 
duty of a Father to be interested in, and to provide for his 
own children in preference to the children of others ? And 
so on the other hand, is it not the language of a Divine com- 
mand to children, " honor thy Father and thy Mother ? " 
Are not children, therefore, from the very relation which 
they sustain, required to show peculiar affection and rev- 
erence towards their own parents l And if this is so, is 
not a special interest in our own country, where parents or 
children reside, and the welfare of which involves that of all 
the intimate and nearest kindred, clearly warranted and 
required ? But further, the establishment of the family rela- 
tion is not arbitrary. For, while it does not prohibit nor 
diminish the exercise of general benevolence, by concentra- 
ting and calling out the warmer affections towards the few, 
2 



10 

it secures the highest happiness and the greatest good of the 
whole. As these links go to make up the golden chain of 
society, do we not see great beauty and wisdom in that 
arrangement, by which a little group is gathered around each 
link, and, with that assigned to them as in a special degree 
their own, with affections quickened, they are at work to add 
to its strength and increase its brightness ? Nor is this all ; we 
see a further beauty in this arrangement if we consider the 
limited powers of man. He is not competent, in the same 
degree, to the task of a more extended effort ; his powers are 
of a limited nature, and it is wise therefore, that the sphere of 
his labor should be limited also. And yet, as we have before 
remarked, while in this manner his special efforts are limited 
to comparatively few objects, it thereby more effectually 
secures the good of the whole. The father, therefore, who 
neglects parental duties, is not only guilty of a heinous offence 
against God and his own family — but against society at large. 
And yet still further, these links maybe considered as forming 
one chain, not only as regards the present extent of society, 
but also as to its future duration. And thus from family to 
family, and generation to generation, the family relation, 
though limited in its special love and effort, by this very 
arrangement, confers the highest good upon the whole, and 
transmits the richest blessings through all ages. Now the 
division of mankind into different nations is evidently intended, 
and adapted to subserve a similar purpose. For the same 
reasons, therefore, it exhibits great beauty and wisdom, but 
the same special love and effort are essential, if the great end 
is secured. It is only enlarging the relation that equally 
desirable results may be accomplished on a more magnificent 
scale. If it is the duty of a father, then, to cherish a partic- 
ular attachment to his own children, and if the good of the 
community is thereby most effectually promoted — so it is the 
duty of every citizen to feel a special regard for his own 
country, and to exert his greatest efforts to promote its wel- 
fare. 

This truth however will further be exhibited and enforced 
by unfolding more fully wherein true Patriotism consists. 



11 



We have endeavored to show, not only that the love of our 
country, but that a greater degree of love to our country than 
to any other, is consistent with, and inseparable from a true 
Christian spirit. The question now arises, what is the legiti- 
mate exhibition of this love ? or in what way should it be 
manifested ? And here we are required to distinguish be- 
tween true and false Patriotism. It has been well said that 
there is scarcely any virtue for which there is not a counterfeit, 
and if all those in our land who arc palming off this counterfeit 
Patriotism on the public, should be arrested and committed, 
we fear that our prisons would be too small to contain them. 
It is quite as common an article in the present day as the bills 
of our broken banks, and through the great scarcity of the 
genuine, good old coin, the people seem obliged to take up 
with it. In how many instances, where perhaps the loudest 
professions are made of love to " the country" and love to 
" the people" are the love of personal distinction, and the love 
of reward, and of influence, the secret springs of action ? 
That it is not the good of the country which many of these 
Patriots consult, is evident from the multitudes who are grasp- 
ing after public office ; and in the great majority of cases, 
these aspirants are very far from possessing those qualifica- 
tions which are likely to secure the highest good of the com- 
munity. Look at them. Who are they ? Are they men of 
education ? — of integrity ? — of intellectual and moral worth ? 
Are they men who by their attainments and their virtues are 
ready to confer honor upon the office ? or, are they looking to 
the office to confer honor upon them ? In the ninth chapter of 
the Book of Judges we have a striking description of these 
office -seeking men. In the beautiful figure of the inspired 
writer, the trees are represented as about to elect for them- 
selves a king. The olive tree, the fig tree, and the vine, hav- 
ing been respectively consulted and requested to accept the 
office, very modestly decline, and urge as their reason, their 
present usefulness in the sphere in which God had placed 
them, and their reluctance to take upon themselves the high 
responsibilities and authority of a monarch. " Then said all 
the trees unto the bramble, come thou and reign over us. 



12 



And the bramble said unto the trees, — * If in truth ye anoint 
me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow ; 
and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the 
cedars of Lebanon." Have we not in this fable an illustra- 
tion of what in the present times we may continually behold ? 
The bramble — the most incompetent — the most worthless, is, 
notwithstanding, the most ready of them all to assume the 
highest trust. There is here no modest reserve — no sense of 
responsibility — no conscientious examination as to its capacity 
— but an immediate grasping at the office, with false promi- 
ses of protection — " come and put your trust in my shadow f 
and then the most violent inflictions on all opposers — "if 
not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars 
of Lebanon." Is not this a picture worthy of inspiration ? 
Does it not draw a distinction between true and false Patriot- 
ism, before which many of the loud and boasting pretenders 
of these times should blush with shame ? Is it not true that 
those who are most competent and worthy to fill an office — 
the most virtuous and intelligent, are those, who, under a 
sense of the importance of the trust, and of the duty of gov- 
erning for the good of the people, and not their own, so far 
from seeking and courting office, rather shrink from it ; while 
the ignorant, the covetous, a/id the ambitious, — the mere 
brambles, who think, and feel, and act, from no higher motive 
than their own promotion, are most ready to push themselves 
before the people, with loud pretensions of seeking " the peo- 
ple's " welfare, with empty promises of protecting " the people 's 
rights," and when once seated in office, is it not often the case, 
that the great and the good have to suffer, and thus fire 
comes out from the bramble and devours the cedars of Leba- 
non ? Surely, though it may bear the name, there is no Patri- 
otism in this. Not one spark of Patriotism ever warmed the 
hearts of such men. " The good of the people," and " the 
rights of the people " are terms in which they abound, but it 
is the mere cant of political hypocrites. They are not actu- 
ated by the love of their country, but of themselves. It is 
high time that the people should look under the mask of these 
vile impostors. The true Patriot is influenced by no such 



13 



motives. He loses sight of himself, and looks at the good of 
the community. For his country he lives, and for his country 
he is willing to die. 

Nor is it the spirit of genuine Patriotism to indulge in angry, 
and impetuous feelings, or a disposition to resent every trifling 
insult which may be offered to the country, without stopping 
to inquire what such resentment is likely to cost. Nothing is 
more false and absurd than to call that a spirit of Patriotism 
which pays little or no regard to the peace or the lives of the 
citizens — and under pretence of "love to the country" can 
spread the horrors of war through her borders, and drench 
her soil with the blood of her sons. Yet in this way has 
many an individual received the name and the praise of a 
hero and a Patriot, when he ought to have been branded as 
the worst of his country's foes. It is the love of power, or of 
fame ; it is an evil spirit exhibiting itself in the sacred robes 
of an angel of light. That in some instances war may be 
unavoidable in self-defence, we do not deny ; but, in by far the 
greater number of cases, it is productive of infinitely more 
evil than could be incurred by pursuing a pacific course. 
The true Patriot, therefore, except in cases of unavoidable 
necessity, will be the last to involve his country in the crimes 
and the miseries of war. 

Let it be granted, then, that true Patriotism consists in the 
love of our country — and though it does not forget the duties 
of common benevolence which are due to all men, nor seek 
to elevate its own country by the destruction or injury of 
another, it does, notwitstanding, cherish for her a peculiar 
interest. Now if that interest is felt, it must and will be 
exhibited in effort to promote the highest good of the country. 
The question then arises, wherein does the highest good of a 
country consist? — and then, whoever is most effectual in 
securing that good, he, it must follow, is the best Patriot. 

We contend, and shall prove, that the religion of Jesus 
Christ, is itself the highest good of a country, as well as of an 
individual. "Righteousness exalteth a nation," saith an 
inspired writer, " but sin is a reproach to any people." This 
is a proposition susceptible of demonstrative proof, both from 



14 



the very nature of the case, and the history of nations. Lord 
Bacon mentions four pillars of government — " Religion, jus- 
tice, counsel, and wealth ;" but it may easily be shown, that 
they are all included in, or secured by the first. On this 
single pillar the whole superstructure must rest ; when this 
stands symmetrical and firm, the government is secure, but 
when this begins to crumble or show marks of decay, the 
whole fabric is about to fall. 

If we consider any of the truths which the Sacred Scrip- 
tures unfold, or any of the duties which they enjoin, either to 
God, to ourselves, or our fellow men ; or if we reflect upon 
the various and soul-stirring motives which they present, we 
shall find that they are all intended, and wisely adapted to 
promote the public good. Take for example the grand idea, 
which forms the foundation of our holy religion — the existence 
and perfections of God, as He is revealed in His word. Here 
is a Being — our Creator, Benefactor, and Judge ; Omniscient, 
Omnipotent, and Omnipresent, a Being of spotless purity, 
of boundless mercy, and of infinite justice. Can it be possi- 
ble that a belief in the existence of such a God — a God 
who approves virtue and abhors vice — who is the continual 
witness of all our thoughts, and words, and actions ; the con- 
stant companion of all our steps ; the unerring and impartial 
discerner of all our motives, and the future Judge, who, 
according to our present life, is to determine our eternal des- 
tiny — can it be possible that a belief in this primary and fun- 
damental truth can be fully entertained, and not exert a most 
powerful and happy influence over the minds and the conduct 
of men? In whatever station they may be placed, or what- 
ever means of usefulness they may possess, is it not calcula- 
ted to secure fidelity to the trust assigned them, whether as 
the rulers or the ruled ? Now the very first duty enjoined by 
our religion, is, not only a full belief in His existence, but a 
supreme love towards this great and good Being ; and from 
this pure fountain of love to a Holy God, are to flow forth all 
the other duties which we owe to ourselves and our fellow 
men. 

Glance now at what are called the Personal and the Social 



15 

4 

duties ; and though their ultimate and supreme object is of 
far higher importance, see if they are not also calculated to 
promote the public welfare. Among those which are called 
Personal duties, we find Humility, Meekness, Temperance, 
Purity, Industry, Diligence, Contentment, Cheerfulness, Self- 
denial, and the pursuit of Knowledge. Need I stop here to 
show you, how these duties, in their very nature, are adapted 
to secure not only individual, but public good ? Need I pause 
here to show you what crimes and miseries have been brought 
upon society through a disregard to these requirements ? As 
their opposites, we have Pride, Anger and Revenge, Intempe- 
rance, Debauchery, Indolence, Covetousness and Ambition, 
Sensuality and Ignorance. And has not each of these been 
productive of unspeakable injury, and must they not, in the 
very nature of things, always and inevitably inflict the same 
evils on society ? 

Look now at some of the Social duties, as they are termed, 
or those duties which God in his word, requires of us towards 
our fellow men. Here are those which attach to the relations 
of life. Such as the duties of Husbands and Wives — of Pa- 
rents and Children — of Masters and Servants; in all of 
which, mutual affection and mutual services are demanded, 
all designed and adapted to promote the common good. Here 
the Ruler and the Ruled — the Magistrate and the People, will 
find precepts, and principles, and laws, prescribed with the 
wisdom, and enforced with the authority of God. Here all 
men, in all stations, at all times, in all their dealings or inter- 
course with their fellow men, are most solemnly required to 
" do justice and to love mercy." Here the axe is laid at the 
root of all that mean, contemptible, and blinded selfishness, 
which is the cause of all evil and injury, and men are taught 
to think, and speak, and act from more exalted views. 

Is it not plain, then, that the religion of the gospel is essen- 
tial to the good of a community ? Here we are required to 
cultivate that Charity which shall lead us to seek the public 
welfare. Here we are taught to seek that knowledge and vir- 
tue which shall prepare us to frame, or correct, or support the 
laws, and those principles which shall lead us to administer 



16 



them in justice, or to obey them while in force. We are 
required to promote the harmony of the community by 
becoming "peace makers" between those of conflicting inter- 
ests or parties. We are required to promote the wealth of 
the community, (its sufficient and substantial wealth,) by fru- 
gality, humility, industry, and charity. We are required to 
promote the happiness of the community by acts of kindness 
and benevolence. In short, we are required to improve our 
powers and opportunities — to fill with fidelity the sphere in 
which God has placed us — to practice the most spotless integ- 
rity, and the most liberal charity, and to live not simply for 
ourselves but for the good of others. 

It is true also, that the Christian religion presents motives 
to the faithful performance of all these duties which can be 
derived from no other source. The faithful and virtuous are 
cheered on in their course, even through reproach and sorrow, 
by the prospect of eternal felicity ; and the sordid, plotting, 
selfish, vicious man, is met, even in his temporal successes, by 
the warnings of future and unending wrath, and entreated in 
the accents of divine love, to turn from his wicked ways and 
live. On the one hand, the bright and the unfading joys of 
Heaven are held forth, to encourage, to strengthen, and inspire 
the righteous ; and on the other the deepest horrors of an 
eternal hell, to alarm, to arrest, and reclaim the wicked. Who 
can deny our position then, that this religion, enjoining such 
duties, enforcing them by such powerful motives, is itself the 
highest good of a community ; and as the Christian is himself 
governed by its principles, and by his example and life, seeking 
to extend their influence, is he not the best, nay is he not the 
only true Patriot. ' 

This truth will farther be seen if you examine the history 
of our Religion. On every land where her instructions have 
been given and received she has conferred the richest bles- 
sings. That erring and weak minded, though well meaning 
men, have in some instances mistaken her instructions, and 
misrepresented her nature, we do not deny ; and that others, 
under pretence of being her friends and followers, have inflict- 
ed the sorest evils on society — have stirred up sedition and 



17 



strife, and propagated falsehood and vice, is equally true. But 
is it just to ascribe these evils to religion, when, as we have 
shown, it is her object and her effort to remove them ? Is a 
man who may be misunderstood or misrepresented, either by 
his real or pretended friends, to be answerable for their igno- 
rance or their crimes ? Religion is one thing, and the igno- 
rant conceptions, and impious perversions of men are another 
— and we are bound in honesty, and as just reasoners, to dis* 
tinguish between them. And yet it has been truly said, by 
the distinguished Edmund Burke, that " for every injury to 
society which can possibly be ascribed to Religion through 
the ignorance or wickedness of its professed friends, we may 
point to a thousand inflicted by Atheism and Infidelity." 
Look on the other hand at the advantages which it has actu- 
ally conferred on every land where it has been introduced. 
To appreciate these you have only to compare Christian 
with heathen nations. You have only to go back and trace 
•the mighty transformations which have taken place through 
the influence of Christianity. If you study her history, you 
will find that she has always been the parent and the patron 
of Science and the Arts. Under her smiles you will see the 
School house and the College springing up by the side of the 
Sanctuary. You will see that those who first opened the 
treasures of Knowledge in Britain, were Christians ; that he 
who established and cherished the distinguished school of 
Canterbury, from which the light of knowledge first beamed 
upon England, was a Christian ; that the first monarch who 
gave to England a written code of laws was a Christian ; 
that he who first gave to the German nations a written lan- 
guage, and instructed them in the knowledge of letters, was 
a Christian : that they who landed on the shores of Ireland 
on a mission of mercy, and first gave to its inhabitants an 
alphabet, were Christians ; that they also who first carried the 
light of science to the Moravians, Bulgarians, and Bohemi- 
ans, were Christians. In short, I might occupy the day, did I 
attempt to point out all the places to which Christianity first 
gave the knowledge and the love of learning. But this is 
not all. She has not only established her schools, and semi- 
3 



18 



naries, and colleges, but with an open hand she has endowed 
them, and with an unfainting heart she has toiled in them, for 
the diffusion of useful knowledge. And in the same sublime 
spirit she is still pursuing and extending her efforts. It was 
her divine work also first to blend the light of Christian mor- 
als, with the light of science. She unfolded those exalted 
virtues, without which even knowledge has always proved a 
curse instead of a blessing. She first pointed out the true 
greatness of genius and the highest aims of science, by teach- 
ing men to devote them to the good of others, and to value 
them only as they enabled them to secure this end. Accord- 
ingly it was her hand which first adorned our world with 
Asylums for the poor and the afflicted. It was through her 
influence that woman was raised from degradation, and 
instead of the slave, became the companion, the equal, and 
the glory of man. It was her benign spirit that first abolished 
the cruelties of heathen lands. She threw down tyrants from 
their thrones — reformed the laws of nations, and revealed 
and enforced the principles of a wise, a just, and a benevolent 
policy. Can Atheism or Infidelity point us to a single spot 
which has been thus beautified by their labors ? Dare they 
come forth to the light of day and stand an equal test ? No, 
no, in their very nature they must tend to corruption, anarchy, 
and crime, and their history has abundantly illustrated the 
fact. 

From what has been said, we trust that our position has 
been sufficiently established ; that the Christian not only may 
be, but that he must be a patriot — and that the Christian patriot 
is the best, and the only true patriot. 

Let us now turn for a moment briefly to consider the spe- 
cial need in which, as a nation, we stand of such men. And 
I must here protest that in the remarks which are to follow, I 
have no intention to attack any political party of the day. I 
shall speak of the nature of our government, and show where- 
in evils are to be apprehended, and endeavor to point out a 
remedy. Whatever may be the corruptions of the present 
dominant party in politics, we doubt not, that while human 
nature is the same, and while our government remains the 



19 



same, unless the remedy is applied in time, if the opposing 
party possessed the power, it would not be long before they 
would become equally corrupt. I must also be permitted to 
say, that however persons may object to any interference 
with politics on the part of the clergy, in the perform- 
ance of their professional duties on the sabbath, I hope that 
on this occasion, I may be allowed to offer my views on gene- 
ral principles, without subjecting myself to any such imputa- 
tion. 

We congratulate ourselves, and well we may, on the form 
of government which we enjoy. It possesses many and great 
privileges which belong to no other under heaven ; nor can 
we conceive of a better in theory, whatever evils may follow 
its application. And it cannot be denied that there are 
many and great dangers to be apprehended, which ought to 
be known and seen that the means for their prevention may 
be employed. 

A republican government, for example, throws all the pow- 
er into the hands of the people. In all cases the majority are 
to rule, and accordingly we hear much said about, " the sove- 
reignty of the people" Now it is evident that this form of 
government, presupposes two things, which at present do not 
exist in reality. It presupposes that the intelligence necessary 
to judge as to the capacity of candidates for public office, or 
the public measures pursued, is to be found in the majority. 
But is this so? According to the present standard throughout 
our land, is not the intelligence as likely to be found in the 
minority ? Nay, is it not generally the case that intelligence 
belongs to the few ? The number of those who have the 
means and the ability, and who devote themselves to its 
attainment, are always comparatively few. The majority of 
almost any community are far more likely to be influenced 
by wheedling promises, or cunningly devised flattery, than by 
sound reasoning, or modest truth. 

A republican government also presupposes that moral 
integrity is to be found in Jhe majority — that they will judge 
and act for the public good. But according to the general 
standard of morals, is this so in fact ? Do we not in this. 



20 



assumption forget that men are depraved, and that, in the 
great majority of cases, they act from purely selfish motives ? 
Whether we speak of public officers or their constituents, 
have we not reason to fear that their own advantage, instead 
of that of the public, will be the primum mobile, the main 
spring of their actions 1 And that in this way we must 
expect that such offices as are at the disposal of those in 
power will be made a means of bribery ; and, on the other 
hand, that there will be multitudes among the people ready to 
sell their influence and their votes to the highest bidder ? It 
has been said, and it is a favorite saying with us, and one too 
which our form of government supposes always to be true, 
that " vox populi, vox dei," but if we remember that neither 
intelligence nor moral integrity are to be found with the 
many ; and if we examine the pages of history, sacred or 
profane, we shall find it has at least in an equal number of 
cases proved that vox populi, vox diaboli. Now see how reli- 
gion comes in to correct these evils ; here, and here only, is 
the remedy. It is her effort to diffuse intelligence, and to 
inspire correct principles, so that they shall in fact be found 
in the majority ; and then our government will be founded on 
just premises, it will then rest on a firm and true basis, and in 
all cases the voice of the people will be the voice of wisdom 
and of God. 

Another evil to which we are greatly exposed, under our 
form of government, is that very erroneous and loose ideas of 
liberty are likely to obtain among the people. We boast of 
our liberty, and truly it is one of the richest blessings we 
enjoy, but we ought never to forget that the richest blessing 
may be turned into the most tremendous curse. It is easy 
to see how this can be done. Already there are multitudes in 
our land who seem to understand that liberty means an indi- 
vidual right to say or to do, just what we please, and to have 
adopted as a good Christian principle the heathen maxim, — 
" Rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire, quce velis, et, quce sen- 
tias, dicere licet. 11 

But is this liberty, or is it licentiousness ? Is it freedom, or 
anarchy and confusion ? Government is always necessary, 



21 



for its necessity is founded in the very constitution of things. 
It is indispensable to the public good, and the degree of indi- 
vidual liberty under any form of government is just that, and 
no more, which is most likely to secure this object. If, on the 
one hand, there may be on the part of the executive govern- 
ment an infringement on individual liberty, to such an extent 
as to oppress the people — to trample upon their natural rights 
and to keep down all energy and manliness of thought and of 
action ; on the other hand, it is possible to have too much 
liberty — a land may be too full of it, and finally be destroyed 
by it. And are we not in danger of the latter evil ? Is there 
not a growing disposition in the community to resist all con- 
straint, and all authority, and, to an alarming extent, to assume 
the right of individual dictation and control ? And there are 
those who turn as a sanction for these reckless and lawless 
principles, to our own Declaration of Independence, where 
they tell us, they find their sentiments, when it is said that 
" all men are born free and equal." But is it not evident that 
this proposition must be understood in a limited sense ? And 
does not the subsequent part of that distinguished document 
show us that it was so understood by its illustrious supporters ? 
The necessity of a government — a government clothed with 
authority — is still recognized ; and it is only grossly oppres- 
sive and tyrannical measures — pronounced so, not by a few 
individuals, but by the great body of the wise, the intelligent, 
and the good, it is only such measures which, as a whole, it 
can justly be said to resist. Very different however is the 
sense in which it is construed by multitudes in the present 
day. By them it is turned against the very principles and 
laws which our fathers toiled and bled to establish. Hence 
we have our reckless reformers, and disorganizers and level- 
lers, who seek to demolish all distinction, and all authority. 
And they tell us that " all men are born free and equal." If 
all men are born free, then surely we may have liberty to ask 
of them a proof of their assertion ; and if all men are born equal, 
they must be competent to meet the demand. As to all men 
being born free in this sense, we say it is not true. So far from it 
that no man is born thus free. From our first moments we are 



22 



in subjection to higher power and authority, as children, as 
subjects of a civil government, and of the moral government of 
our Creator. Now in either of these relations can it be said 
that all men are born free ? Are they not bound by the laws 
of nature — by the laws of the land — and by the laws of God ? 
They may possess the power to resist either, or all of these, it 
is true, but they have not the right, nor the ability to avoid the 
consequences. If it be said by the advocates for lawless lib- 
erty, that they speak of men being born free and equal, only 
in reference to civil government, we reply, that as civil gov- 
ernment is essential to the welfare of man, in his present 
state, if on the one hand he looks to it for the protection of 
his own life and privileges, he is bound on the other to render 
it that homage and obedience, which are to clothe it with pow- 
er and influence over the conduct of others. 

But in this sense we are also told by our champions for 
liberty and equality, that all men are born equal. And in 
what sense is this true ? Are they born with equal powers, 
physical or intellectual ? Are they born with equal advanta- 
ges, from temporal circumstances, for moral or intellectual 
culture ? Or, even admitting that they are so born, is it true, 
as these men assume, that they continue so ? Is one man, 
whose capacities and whose education are inferior, as compe- 
tent to decide questions in law, as another whose mind for 
years has been absorbed in the study of jurisprudence ? Is 
one man as competent to govern as another ? Are all men 
equally able to understand, and equally prepared to perform 
the duties of any office ? Is every passenger in a steamboat 
as competent to take command, and has he the same right to 
do so, as the captain who has devoted his time and his study 
to the subject ? These, it must be seen, are most dangerous 
sentiments, subversive of all order and government, destruc- 
tive to all human rights, and ruinous to the best interests of 
our country. The idea in itself is also most absurd. Sup- 
pose, if you please, that the plan were practicable, and that 
all men should be reduced to perfect equality, with their pres- 
ent various dispositions and powers, how long would such a 
state of things last ? Would not those of strong and cultiva- 



23 



ted minds, or those of deep sagacity, and cunning, and ambi- 
tion, soon be seen rising above their fellow men ? And we 
doubt not, if the thirst for distinction and the resistance of 
control could secure it, that many of those who are now the 
warmest advocates for equality, would be the very first to 
assume the rod of despotic domination, and the same spirit 
that now leads them to oppose personal distinction, and legal 
authority, would then show itself in the most cruel and unlim- 
ited tyranny. But the thing is impracticable. Where shall 
we find this equality ? Neither in heaven, earth, nor hell ! 
Perhaps the nearest approach to it, is in the savage state. 
And is this the object at which our self styled reformers are 
aiming? Would they throw us back again into all the crimes 
and miseries of savage life ? 

But if these advocates for equality — these sterling, disin- 
terested patriots — these enlightened reformers, and benevo- 
lent and philanthropic levelers, are sincere in their professions, 
why do they not give us a practical evidence of the fact, by 
showing us an example ? Why do they not themselves, in- 
stead of assailing those above them, descend to the grades of 
society below them, if there are such ? Why do they not 
throw away their own false dignity, and false shame, and 
false pride, and herd with the lowest and vilest in their hovels 
of filth ? No, no, this is not their object. It is to pull down 
those who are above them to an equality, or even subjection 
to themselves. Depend upon it, gentlemen, all these boister- 
ous professions about " equal rights" — all this desire to break 
up established forms, and established authority — all these cries 
for liberty, and democracy, and equality, are only the over- 
flowings of pride, and envy, and restless ambition. They are 
intended to flatter, and wheedle the people. It is the same 
policy which was adopted by Voltaire, Condorcet, D'Lambert 
and others of the infidel leaders in the French Revolution. 
It was a favorite saying of theirs — 

" L'egalite naturelle des hommes, et la souverainete du peuple." 

And it was this maxim which enabled them to deceive the 
people, and secured to them such immense influence. In this 



24 



way, by base flattery and pretended philanthropy, they ob- 
tained for their principles that ascendancy which finally re- 
sulted in such appaling scenes of anarchy and blood. Now 
let this wild-fire, this spirit of misrule, spread through our 
land — let these disorganizers and levelers succeed in their 
efforts, and the same tragic scenes will again be witnessed, 
till our own native vallies shall ring with the cries of civil 
conflict, and our own native soil be crimsoned with the blood 
of our kindred and our friends. But for all these evils, reli- 
gion is a sufficient and sure remedy. Only diffuse its heav- 
enly truths — only extend the knowledge of its enlightened 
principles — only bring to bear upon the public mind its pow- 
erful motives, and inspire in the public heart its divine spirit, 
and our country will be safe and prosperous ; our laws will 
be respected a»d obeyed — our people contented and happy — 
our magistrates honored and beloved, and our just rights and 
privileges preserved. 

Another source of danger to which, under our form of gov- 
ernment we are greatly exposed, is the virulence of party 
spirit. The existence of party combinations appears to attach 
necessarily to every form of free government we admit. And 
in the same degree that you extend the influence and the priv- 
ilege of the elective franchise, you open still wider the way for 
conflicting interests and opposing parties. And to a certain 
extent, when under proper control, these party combinations 
are, no doubt, essential to the progress of true principles. 
But one thing is certain, that though we admit the necessity of 
these combinations, under existing circumstances, there can 
be no necessity nor utility in that servile adherence to a party 
which destroys the sense of individual responsibility — which 
chains down all independence and manliness of thought and 
of action, and leads a man to loose himself in his subjection 
to a party. Is this a spirit becoming a child of our Fathers T 
Is it consistent with our free institutions? Is it consistent 
with a just and wise independence, or with an enlightened 
liberty of conscience ? or is it loading ourselves with chains, 
as galling and oppressive as those which the doomed subject of 
a tyrant is condemned to bear ? There is a despotism in 



25 



"party spirit" which even the advocates for unlimited democ- 
racy appear blind to perceive and powerless to resist — and 
we, gentlemen, have need of christian patriots, in this re- 
spect, who shall be the salt of our land, to show us that there 
are higher motives than the favor of a party, and more exalt- 
ed ends of action that personal emolument, or the love of 
office. 

Though it should be granted also, that party combinations 
are inseparable from a free government, does it therefore fol- 
low that the malevolence and the vituperation which are now 
exhibited by our political parties are unavoidable ? Must our 
citizens be divided into separate factions — marshalled in dif- 
ferent clans ; and then assail each other's reputation — destroy 
each other's influence, and with all the hostility of bitter foes, 
be arrayed against each other on the arena of political con- 
flict ? Is that malignant, infernal spirit, essential to the opera- 
tion of our free government, by which one party attacks the 
private character of every opposing candidate for office — 
throws out its vile slanders, and covers him with abuse ? Is 
this spirit, so conspicuous in all opposing parties throughout 
our land, a spirit of patriotism ? Is it consistent with a sound 
policy ? Is it conducive to the public good ? Or does it tend 
to alienate the affections of one part of the community against 
another, and to produce internal divisions and commotions of 
the most alarming nature? Through the influence of this 
growing evil we have already heard the cry for a disruption 
of our happy confederacy. There are those at the North 
who in this hostile manner have denounced the citizens of the 
South — and from the South denunciation has been hurled 
back in the same menacing tone. If this state of things is al- 
lowed to continue, who does not see that disunion must be, 
and a civil war may be the result. Then farewell to the lib- 
erties of our country — farewell to the institutions which our 
fathers fought and bled to purchase, and farewell to the sweet 
smiles of God upon us as a nation. Let this result be fully 
weighed by our pretended reformers, and our hot-headed 
politicians, and by all our citizens. Let them consider if any 
possible calamity can befall us as a nation more deplorable 
4 



26 



than this. Here also we see our need of christian patriots. 
Religion comes in to soften and allay this violence and hostil- 
ity. If we are told that it exists as much in the religious as 
the political affairs of the country, we again reply, that true 
religion is not to be condemned because its professed friends 
are frail and imperfect, or even hypocrites and deceivers. 
The true spirit of religion is a spirit of peace and of love. 
Though there may be fanatics and enthusiasts who may 
otherwise represent it, and with a stubborn and reckless hand 
scatter around them "fire-brands, arrows and death" — the 
scriptures expressly declare that " the wrath of man cannot 
work the righteousness of God." They tell us that genuine 
religion is 44 first pure — then peaceable — gentle and easy to 
be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality 
(or contention,) and without hypocrisy." That men must 
and will have their own views as to general principles, wheth- 
er in religion or politics, we admit, and they should have them; 
but the only spirit in which the gospel allows their advance- 
ment is a spirit of meekness and of love. It demands of its 
followers that kindness and humanity which are the opposites 
of angry and malevolent aspersions, and though they may 
differ in judgment, this is the " one spirit" which is to ani- 
mate them all. And in all true christians, and true patriots, 
this spirit is found. I rejoice, gentlemen, that we are not 
wholly destitute of such examples. I remember that I am 
addressing an audience, many of whom, on a previous anniver- 
sary of this institution, listened to the honest and resistless 
eloquence of a christian patriot, who is now in Heaven — the 
late Hon. Wm. Wirt. His motives were assailed by calumny, 
it is true, but he was a great and a good man. Never has our 
land given birth to a better statesman, or a more disinterested 
lover of his country. Would to God we had many more 
like him, to follow in his footsteps, and to spread around them 
the heavenly light which his life and his death displayed. 

Did time permit, gentlemen, I might show you our special 
need of christian patriots to guard us also against the preva- 
lence of a monied aristocracy. 

Our land has rung with congratulations, that in this respect, 



27 



pre-eminently, we are superior to the older nations of the 
world — we have no aristocracy ! But of all the aristocracies 
with which the earth has ever been cursed, none is more to be 
dreaded than that constituted by wealth — because in this case, 
there is often neither strength of mind, nor moral excellence, 
nor refinement of feelings or manners to sustain it. And yet 
are we in no danger of this evil ? See what multitudes are 
struggling after wealth with as much zeal and parsimony as 
though it were " the chief end of man" to be rich. Doubt- 
less there are many rich men who are very excellent men, and 
who are highly deserving of our esteem and praise — but an 
inspired writer has told us that " the love of money is the root 
of all evil" — and is not this love of money the reigning sin of 
the day ? And is it not evidently on the increase in our land ! 
Why ? surely not because it enables its possessors to procure 
merely the luxuries of sensual indulgence — but there is an in- 
creasing disposition in the public mind to regard them with 
respect and homage, simply because they are rich. Wealth 
in our land, therefore, is sought with avidity, not only for its 
own sake, but that it may procure public respect, and serve as 
a stepping-stone to distinction and influence. And, alas ! 
through the folly of the community, it is becoming one of the 
surest means of obtaining them. Only let a man grow rich, 
no matter how, no matter from what — and influence and hon- 
or seem to be the necessary concomitants — though he may 
be niggardly in his spirit, screwing and over-reaching in his 
dealings, illiberal to the poor, without generosity and integri- 
ty, destitute of all that is noble in heart, and strong or refined 
in thought. 

" Stat fortuna improba noctu, 
Arridens nudis infantibus : Los fovet omnes, 
Involvitque sinu ; domibus tunc porrigit altis, 
Secretumque sibi mimum parat; hos amat, his se 
Ingerit, atque suos ridens, producit alumnos." 

Is such a man worthy of respect or influence, merely be- 
cause he is rich ? Does wealth give him brains, or manliness, 
or integrity ? Does it put knowledge into his head, or hones- 



28 



ty, or honor, or truth into his heart 1 Yet we might suppose 
that such an impression obtained among the crowd, for, like 
the besotted children of Israel, they are ready to bow down 
in their idolatry and worship even a calf, if it has but the glit- 
ter of gold. This has been the sin and the folly of our land, 
and God is visiting us, as a nation, with his judgments. — 
Whatever we may think of second causes, there is a cause 
which lies back of them all, and directs them all ; and it is 
time for the people to learn that riches never make a part of 
the man. They can soon be stripped off, and if you wish to 
know what the man himself is, you must strip them off, and 
look into his mind, and look into his heart. You are to judge 
of the man by what you find there. You are to lay aside the 
outward show, the tinsel and the ornaments ; throw them all 
off, and then in excellence of heart, in power of thought, in 
dignity of spirit, in elevation and grandeur of soul, what have 
you left? that is the man. So common sense, and so the re- 
ligion of the gospel, teaches us to value men, by what they 
are, not by what they have. And therefore it offers to us its 
instructions and its admonitions to seek those riches in wis- 
dom and moral excellence, which shall endure — something 
which shall indeed be a part of ourselves, and it thunders its 
anathemas upon the man and the people, who make gold 
their god. 

But, gentlemen, I have already trespassed upon your pa- 
tience, and therefore, in conclusion, I pass on briefly to con- 
sider our special need of Christian patriots, from the influ- 
ence which our country is to exert over the future destiny of 
the world. It is already a matter of doubt with many wheth- 
er we can succeed — whether men are competent, on republi- 
can principles, to govern themselves. The eyes of the world 
are upon us. If we fail, despots and tyrants will rejoice at 
our fall, but the lovers of liberty — of enlightened liberty — the 
lovers of humanity and sound morals will come and weep 
over our grave. It becomes every American to know and 
feel, therefore, that the cause of his country is the cause of the 
world ; and that every man, while he resists not the movings 
of more expanded benevolence, is bound especially to look to 



29 



his own native land ; here he must employ his principal means 
and throw his example and his efforts on the side of that reli- 
gion which " exalteth a nation." 

Christians must take a deeper interest in this matter. They 
must bear their part with a meek and gentle, but decided 
spirit, in the political affairs of their country. Not as noisy, 
intriguing, office seeking, nor party serving politicians, but as 
Christians. Their influence, as such, must be felt in all the 
walks and relations of life, and in the ballot box, too, as well as 
that of others. Away with the cant and ridiculous rodomon- 
tade of a union between " church and state." Our constitu- 
tion very wisely recognizes no such union, but it very wisely 
no where forbids the rights of citizenship to Christians— -nor 
does it, either in letter or spirit, prohibit the full exercise of 
their Christian influence and efforts. 

We here see also the absurdity of that popular prejudice 
which precludes worthy and intelligent Christians from our 
public offices. As though their belief in the great and solemn 
truths of our holy religion disqualified them for any public 
trust. As though religion was opposed to correct principles 
of civil government, and to that moral integrity which aims 
to promote the public good. On the contrary, we here see 
the vast importance of raising the influence of Christianity 
throughout our land. Of seeking out the educated and com- 
petent Christian, from his humble and modest retirement, and 
of clothing him with the honors of office, who, like the father 
of his country, will impart as much as he receives, and, with 
the good of his country in view, will follow out the maxim, 
" Non laudem quaero, nec culpam timeo" 

We here see also the necessity of diffusing the knowledge 
and the pure principles of Christianity. It must be evident 
to every reflecting mind, that to us, as a nation, religion is of 
peculiar importance. There is no government on earth in 
which it is so essential to success. With religion, enlightened, 
and pure and practical, it must prove the best which has ever 
been established — but without it, it needs no prophetic vision 
to foresee that it will prove the worst. The very fact, that 
the power is thrown into the hands of the people, shows us 



30 



the greater necessity of diffusing intelligence and sound 
morality, that their power may be wisely and honestly exert- 
ed. The spirit of religion will teach us how to appreciate 
and improve our liberty, but liberty without religion is a dan- 
gerous tiling ; and the more you remove or diminish the 
restraint of executive authority, unless you supply its place by 
intelligence and moral worth, the more you open the way for 
ignorance and corruption. We ought to remember, there- 
fore, that unless we properly improve our liberties — unless 
we double our diligence in extending the knowledge of truth 
and the love of virtue among the people — unless we fortify 
our cities, and villages, and country towns, with libraries of 
useful and moral books, easy of access to the community — 
unless we see to our common and higher schools — to the 
character and competency of our instructors, and increase 
their numbers — unless we furnish our own destitute places 
with those who shall proclaim the truths of the gospel — un- 
less we revere the Sabbath and the Sanctuary of God — un- 
less we encourage, and aid, and multiply our Sabbath schools 
and guard the instruction of our children and youth, and give 
free course to the word of life ; in one word, unless religion 
is more widely diffused, and felt through our land, our very 
liberties will prove " savors of death unto death,'* and, in let- 
ters of blood, the page of history shall record, for all future 
ages, that the American revolution was a curse instead of a bles- 
sing to mankind. We rejoice in our independence, and it is 
right that we should, but let us not forget, that we are depend- 
ent still. Oh, yes ! there is an arm above — the arm of a just 
and a holy God, which, in one moment can cast all our boasted 
glory in the dust and make us " a reproach and a by-word in 
all the earth." And, gentlemen, nothing can save us but the 
religion of Jesus Christ. Take away these precious truths, 
or let the public mind remain in ignorance, and what have you 
done ? Have you not torn away the strongest inducements 
to virtue, and let loose upon the world the ferocious and des- 
olating passions of the human heart? Have you not left the 
soul a doomed slave to its deep depravity ? Have you not 
robbed innocence and benevolence of their dearest support 



31 



amid trials and sorrows ? Have you not spread desolation 
and mourning over the land, and brought down upon it the 
curse of the Almighty ? for he has declared " the nation that 
will not serve me shall perish." # 

And now, gentlemen, I must close. The subject to which 
1 have invited your attention is one of momentous importance 
in every respect. I regret that it has not had a more able 
advocate ; but if my remarks shall only elicit your own 
future reflections, one important point will be gained. 

The religion of the gospel however, gentlemen, has still 
higher and holier objects. It secures not only temporal, but 
also eternal honors and eternal peace ; and I cannot close 
this address to you, the companions and friends of my early 
years, without pressing it upon your personal attention, as the 
only way of salvation for the wretched and the lost. How 
my heart rejoices in the wonders which God has been, and is 
still working in this, the city of my birth, and especially among 
the children of this, my Alma Mater. With the exception of 
nine only, we are permitted to trust that all who are still 
under her fostering wings, within the last few months, have 
been brought by experience to taste the preciousness of a 
Saviour's love ; and many of her sons, who have gone out 
from her side, but have still shared in her interest and her 
prayers, have also been convinced of the truth and the bles- 
sedness of the gospel of Christ. Let me cast in my mite of 
encouragement to such of you, my friends and my brothers. 
Rejoice in the Lord " who hath called you out of darkness 
into his marvelous light." Be his, entirely, and always his, 
and " be strong in the power of his might." Commence 
your Christian life with a high standard of personal consecra- 
tion ; and by habitual watchfulness, devotion, spirituality, and 
prayer, let your future career be like " the path of the just, 
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Lean 
continually upon Jesus Christ, and he will sustain you ; put 
your trust in him, and he will never disappoint you ; give your 
warmest love to him, and he will never deceive you. 



* Isaiah lx. 12. 



32 



And why are there any who still reject his invitations? 
Why, amid these displays of his mercy and his grace, should 
a single one resist the Holy Ghost, and perish ? Oh ! come to 
Christ, — " the spirit and the bride say come — and let him that 
heareth say, come — and let him that is athirst, come." Let 
the guilty and the hopeless, come — let the heavy laden and 
the broken hearted, come — let the deceived, the deluded, the 
despairing, come — let the joyless and the friendless, come — 
let the prodigal, come — let the penitent and the humble, come. 
Let the ambitious renounce their vain hopes, and come — let 
the proud forsake their high thoughts, and come — let the 
worldly break away from their perishing idols, and come, — 
come, and receive pardon — come, and find peace — come, 
and accept " the gift of God," — eternal life. My friends, my 
brothers, come to Jesus Christ — come — come — come. 

We must now separate, perhaps forever. The world is 
before us, and while we live, and after we are dead, our influ* 
ence in it must be felt. Let each and all of us, therefore, by 
every means in our power, devote ourselves to the advance- 
ment of that religion, which is so necessary to our country's 
good — to the temporal and eternal happiness of our fellow 
men, and so essential to our own. We must now enter the 
busy scenes of the world — we are to mingle with its dying, 
yet immortal inhabitants. But our journey must soon be over, 
and. then, however diversified or distant the ways we pursue, 
we shall meet again, at the bar of our common Judge. Oh 
may it be a meeting of happiness and love ; and may the 
friendships of earth be then continued and consummated in 
Heaven. 




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